If you watched last Friday’s episode, your heart may have fell out of your chest briefly too. I had prepared myself for the farewell of Emma Swan. I knew it was happening, but what I didn’t expect was saying farewell to Killian Jones as well. I didn’t expect for Officer Rogers not to be our Killian Jones but Wish!Hook instead. Can someone say plot twist!? The moment he and Emma walked through the portal, the water dams that are my eyes exploded. His departure, while logical, was unexpected.
An orphan. A Lieutenant. A pirate. A dashing rapscallion. A hero. A husband. And now father.
My favorite thing about Killian, hands down, was his character development. I have never watched a show where so much depth and feeling has changed for a character such as his. We saw throughout the series how much Killian vowed to be a good man. Sure, it took some time for him to come to terms with the possibility of him being an honorable, good man, but eventually, he did accept it.
Killian taught us that we can overcome who were in the past. We don’t need to be afraid that things won’t get better or change for us. As we saw, Killian was hell-bent on killing Rumple. The only thing he cared about was revenge, and he didn’t care if he died in the process. He had given up his will to live. That is, until he started bonding with Emma and the Charmings. Then we saw his whole outlook on life changed. He figured that he could be like them too. He could be a hero and the man that Emma needs.
He also taught us that we all deserve a happy ending. Never once in the beginning did he think he would be able to live happily ever after. After all, he was pirate who pillaged and plundered. But even if you mess up in your past, it doesn’t brand you for the rest of your life. We’re allowed to make mistakes, and Killian showed us that. We all know he wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t pretend to be. He let life take him on an adventure as he worked to improve himself. Eventually, the characters no longer said “pirate” as a dirty thing because sure, he was still a pirate, but “the good kind.”
While his change of heart came from his blossoming relationship with Emma, I like to think that he enjoyed the good man he’d become. So, he continued to be a man willing to fight for his goodness. For his life. For his love for Emma.
He was broken, and we saw how occasionally he would slip up. The most important scene to take into consideration regarding this is when he died to save everyone in Storybrooke. Even as a Dark One, Killian knew he had made a mistake, and he was willing to accept that. He didn’t take the easy way out and let everyone die. No, instead he played hero for the ones he loved. He took responsibility for his actions.
It’s insane to look back at season 2 Killian where he was trying to murder everyone, to season 7 Killian where he was caring for his pregnant wife and helping to save Henry. His growth as a character was fantastic, and so well played. Colin O’Donoghue drew in so much depth to Killian that he made you care for the broken man. I loved Killian the moment he stepped onto my screen because I knew his story would be an adventure and it so was!
And no, I don’t just love Killian because he is hot (although that’s a bonus). I like him because he never pretended to be perfect. He owned up to his mistakes and he fought for his happy ending. He redeemed himself time and time again to make him worth loving.
Most importantly, I will miss that man’s sass. It was unrivaled!
Also, his love for Emma was like no other. He loved her so deeply, so intensely. You never once doubted that.
So without further ado, we bid a bittersweet good bye to a character that’s become my all-time favorite in the world of fiction. I hope to see him in flashbacks or when the curse is broken.
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Feature image by Once Upon a Time podcast